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Monday, June 18, 2012

North American Hockey Classic Review

The biggest spring/summer hockey tournament has just been completed in Winnipeg this past weekend as the Edmonton Mercurys win the 1998 Elite division and the Alberta Alliance win the 1999 Elite division.

It was somewhat expected that the powerhouse Edmonton Mercury's would roll through until at least final with a star studded forward group and a defensive group that featured consensus top pick Kale Clague.  The forward group had Tyler Benson, Alex Rotundo, Sam Steel as well as defenseman David Quenneville who we believe to be first rounders currently.

The Alberta Alliance did well through the tournament in at defeated the Western Canada Selects in the final led by Trey Fix-Wolansky, Cameron Lockard and Ryan Anderson to name a few.  The Western Canada Selects featured a collection of players from throughout western Canada that WEHP helped put together to form a team that wasn't a pushover by any means.  It was somewhat of a surprise that the powerhouse Vancouver Selects or the Manitoba Falcons didn't make the final though.  The Vancouver Selects have many first round caliber draft picks in our minds as do the Manitoba Falcons.  Perhaps we will have to re-think that to an extent?!

The Saskatoon Jr. Blades who were booted to the AAA Division won that division quite easily.  Jake Leschyshyn, the son of former Saskatoon Blades and Colorado Avs defenseman Curtis, was a standout forward.  But perhaps the top forward was Erik Gardiner, the brother or WHL first rounder Reid Gardiner, led the tournament in scoring.  Erik is already 5'11-6'0 tall and looks to be a fast climber.

Players who climbed the rankings
Cameron Lockard -1999
Austin Nault - 1999
Trey Fix-Wolansky -1999
Ryan Anderson - 1999
Matthew Wedman - 1999
Kiefer Bellows - 1998
Quinn Benjafield - 1998
Jordan Taupert - 1998
Erik Gardiner - 1998
Dawson Martin - 1998


Anonymous said...

Why the focus on the teams that surprised you with poor performances - vipers and falcons. Why not some focus on the team that won the 99 division. There were a lot of kids on that team that are progressing very quickly. Give some credit to coaching as well and to getting the team together in the first place

Anonymous said...

The web site is called Western Elite Hockey Prospects not Kids that are progressing quickly.If you want to write up about your 99 kid from Alberta go ahead, otherwise give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Quinn Benjafeild deserves to be a high draft pick in this upcoming draft. Great size just needs to work on his skating.

Anonymous said...

Size is a primary factor in WHL draft selection.

Anonymous said...

I agree on size being the first criteria for most scouts. Second is skating and third and fourth would be game sense and compete factor in either order. If you are under 5'10, you need to be exceptionally skilled to play in the 'Dub'

Anonymous said...

Drafted and play are two different things. Smaller guys need to dominate on great team at the big tournies to get drafted. 'Bloodlines' seem be a big factor as well.

Anonymous said...

WHL is a great league, but it is certainly not the only way to go. The chances of making it professionally are so small that kids should be advised of different opportunites. BCHL, AJHL etc. are great. The USHL and the NAJHL are interesting.

Anonymous said...

There are many opportunities, The WHL is just one, and mostly talked about since its close to us here in Western Canada. There is no book too guide parents, mostly its Agents,other parents or Coaches. I wish there was a site that could explain the pros and cons of how to go. No one wants to make a mistake or by being too involved. We as parents are told to stay away. That we cant help or make the decision. All I hear is that if he or she is good enough they will find him. There seems to be many Hockey leagues some maybe good while others not so much. I dont understand the USA Hockey leagues. I looked at most of the players and they seem to be close to the WHL age or maybe a little older. I here the WHL is good for some players and the college way is good for others.Does it matter if your not drafted? or if your not in the top 40? I just enjoy watching them play since it will be over soon.

Here are a few others

All below are CJHL Hockey

Anonymous said...

Scholarship chances are almost equally as low. Let the kids enjoy playing the game but by all means have a "plan B" as most hockey dreams end shortly after their bantam draft year.
Don't believe me... wait and see for yourself!

Anonymous said...

1:46 this is good, So whats Plan "B" or C where do you find these options ?

Midget for most
Major midget for a few ( top 40) ??

Do they even have a Midget draft for Jr A or B programs ?
I am sorry for asking , but not one really wants to spend the time to explain. WEHP could you shed some light. I am sure it would be boring for some that know these answers already. I heard luck and timing have alot to do with it. Players get asked earlier and goalies a few years later. it is wise to go to all of these AJHL, BCHL camps that are open or is it s waste and a money grab?

Anonymous said...

It is a fact that 'early bloomers' have a significant advantage over those who mature later. Thus, the OHL and QMHL draft a year later to let everything balance out. In the WHL, those who are selected in the draft have a significant advantage over those who don't. It isn't to say a later developing player can't play in the WHL ( there are many stories of undrafted players who make the WHL ) but those players must prove themselves in the minor midget year or else its unlikely they will ever play in the 'dub '. Scouts jobs rely on those picks making it onto their teams and thus those drafted will be given a legitimate shot at making their team. The higher the pick the more opportunities the player is given to play with their team. If you are not chosen in the WHL draft or haven't been listed by the end of minor midget, Tier 2 junior in hope of attracting an American college might be a good way to go. Less that 1% of all players make a living playing hockey so having a "Plan B " is a good idea.